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Brain Motion and Emotion

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Presentation given at the World Medical and Health Games, University of Limerick, July 2015

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Brain Motion and Emotion

  1. 1. Brain motion and emotion Billy O’Connor Professor of Physiology Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick. Ireland. 22nd July 2015
  2. 2. Learning objectives 1. What is the link between physical activity and human brain evolution? 2. How has human brain evolution enabled us to emotionally engage and anticipate the intentions of others?
  3. 3. Many cortical areas are involved in initiating a movement. Brain regions and functions What the person does What the person senses
  4. 4. Let's not forget that humans also gained endurance by running from predators. Humans have a brain that is about three times the size that would be expected, given our body size in comparison with that of other mammals. Physical activity made our brains human June 22, 2011
  5. 5. Physical activity and academic performance in school-age children Why is this?
  6. 6. Physical activity and academic performance in school-age children Nature neuroscience reviews Vol 9. 2008.
  7. 7. Exercise increases ‘neurogenesis’ (growth of neurons) in the hippocampus - a region important for memory and implicated in cognitive aging. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A 104(13):5638-43 (2007). Warmer colours indicate higher levels of nerve growth factor in the hippocampus of [A] exercising animals compared to [B] sedentary animals - blue indicates the lowest level. Fitness training increases neurogenesis
  8. 8. Stroke recovery is boosted by prozac (fluoxetine)
  9. 9. Read more on Inside-the-brain
  10. 10. Group behaviours (social contagion) THE SOCIAL BRAIN & THE MIRROR NEURON SYSTEM Mirror neurons are a means of understanding another’s intentions and are not just about copying actions. They form a part of our capacity to understand others and empathise with them. The mirror neuron system enables us to engage with others
  11. 11. Science, 325, 5938, 284, 2009. Empathy is facilitated when we share attention. The social brain and the mirror neuron system
  12. 12. Read more on Inside-the-brain
  13. 13. “Fortune favours the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur. Mind set Skills Education Interesting books in this area
  14. 14. 1. Physical endurance drives human brain evolution by promoting neurogenesis. 2. The evolution of the brain mirror neuron system enables us to respond sympathetically and to anticipate the intentions of others. Summary

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